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  • The EIB will invest €80 million in the IAIP project to modernise water supply infrastructure and irrigation systems in rural Cambodia.
  • Approximately 200 000 people in five provinces with 51 000 ha of arable land will benefit from the EIB support.
  • The EIB will collaborate with the Asian Development Bank, the Royal Government of Cambodia and the European Union to reduce rural poverty and contribute to sustainable agricultural practices and food security.

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the bank of the European Union, will invest €80 million in the Irrigated Agriculture Improvement Project (IAIP) to extend the water supply and irrigation network in several provinces across Cambodia.

The IAIP will improve the efficiency of irrigation systems, increasing the resilience of Cambodian agriculture to climate change. In the long term, the project will contribute to better water resources management, increased efficiency of agricultural production and, in turn, the reduction of rural poverty in Cambodia.

The project enables Cambodia to establish a National Water Resources Data Management Centre, crucial in the long term for the country’s ability to mitigate the effects of climate change on water supply and agriculture.

EIB Vice-President Christian Kettel Thomsen, who is responsible for operations in Cambodia, said: “Today, the EU bank is investing in a prosperous, safer and sustainable future for the people of Cambodia. Together with our partners from the Asian Development Bank and the European Union, we are making a tangible contribution to inclusive economic growth through agriculture, and increasing climate and disaster resilience in the country. Our technical and financing support will make Cambodia stronger, safer and more resilient to the effects of climate change. The project will also help address Cambodia’s post-COVID-19 green recovery needs. The EIB is very proud to be recognised as a strong partner of the Royal Government of Cambodia.”

HE Carmen Moreno, the European Union Ambassador to Cambodia, said: “We welcome the increased engagement of the EIB in Cambodia with the funding of a third major infrastructure project in less than two years. This project will boost agricultural production and increase climate and disaster resilience, and will provide the country with critical technical engagement and the tools to improve its water governance. With this new project, Team Europe continues to support Cambodia in its inclusive and green recovery efforts after COVID-19, in an essential economic sector. Sustainable and resilient agriculture and inclusive water management could promote a stronger economic recovery for the country and the creation of new jobs for its people.”

HE Dr Aun Pornmoniroth, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Finance, said: “The Royal Government of Cambodia welcomes the EIB investments in the IAIP as an important step towards improving living conditions and agricultural production in the country. The IAIP will also allow Cambodia to become more adaptive to climate change, and improve the way we manage our water for agricultural purposes and the agricultural practices. This project is a very good model of how different partners can unite around a single vision and work towards a more resilient and prosperous Cambodia.”

Support for sustainable agriculture

The development of rural water and irrigation infrastructure and introduction of sustainable agricultural practices under IAIP will also be critical to faster post-COVID-19 green recovery of the Cambodian economy. The project will contribute to foster gender equality and women’s participation in the rural economy, given that the number of women producers engaged in subsistence agriculture.

The EIB contribution to the IAIP project increases the project`s outreach and allows the partners develop rural irrigation infrastructure in more provinces. Additionally, it makes the funding even more affordable for Cambodia  The inclusion of the Bank’s environmental, social and procurement policies in the project design and supervision of their consistent application throughout the project implementation would contribute to increasing the institutional capacities of the Cambodian Government and the overall sustainability of the rural infrastructure,

Co-financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Royal Government of Cambodia, IAIP is the third EIB supported project in Cambodia, following the EUR 91 million investment in Bakheng Water Supply project (in collaboration with AFD) and EUR 51.5m support in Sustainable Assets for Agricultural Markets, Business and Trade (SAAMBAT) programme (in partnership with IFAD). To date, the EU Bank invested EUR 222.5 million in social and economic growth of Cambodia.

About the EIB in Asia:

For 25 years, the EIB has supported the economic and social development in Asia and the Pacific region through projects ranging from cutting travel times for people of Bangalore with a new metro line, to providing cheaper, cleaner energy in western Nepal.

In Asia, the EIB focus is our lending on climate action and environmental sustainability across all sectors. Through our financing, we act as a catalyst to attract the funding needed to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. We also work to include gender equality in our projects, ensuring that women, men, girls and boys can benefit from projects equally and equitably.

About the EIB in Cambodia:

The European Investment Bank has been actively supporting the sustainable development of Cambodia since 2018. To date, the EU bank has invested EUR 222.5 million in the country improving access to drinkable water in the capital of Phnom Penh and rehabilitation of rural infrastructure; and with it improving the quality of lives for millions of Cambodians. The EU Banks works together with the European Union, the Royal Government of Cambodia and other development partners in the country.